Skip to main content

Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

See other formats

ETYMOLOGY OF LOCAL NAMES.                                          331
pstrifL-d in lit-ratnre Is preserved from collo^asal tlelritkn. Thus, of two
jlaces originally nam'-d alike, one may retdn tlie genuine Sanskrit form, while
til2 o:hir becomes PrtikTitizei, r^corling to their celebrity or otherwise. A
f nra'>j! is afforded Ly thy nmnos cf Jiiany English families : the elder branches
retn::i tke old spelling, however nitich at variance with modern Tnronuiiciati'jn,,
as. :br instance, Berkeley and Marjor&anks ; "wlille the obscurer Iranciies, who
selluii: had occasion to attach their signatures to any document, conform their
sj eiiing to the sound anl appear In writing as Barkly and Marchhnnks. Again,
ani^ng tliose wlio retain the old form, some no longer pronounce the word ;n the
old fashioned way, but alter its sound according to the more ordinary value of the
Iftt'jrs in modern pronunciation.* Thus fiastinapnr exists iinelianged, by vir-
tue of its historical fame ; Lad it "been an obscure Tillage it would probably iiave
be^-n corrupted into Eathaura. In fine, it may "be accepted as a general rale
that when the termination pur. pura^ or pnri is found in full, the place is either
cumpuratively mulem, or if ancient is a place of pre-eiaiaenn note* The one
exception to the rule is anbrieii by names in which the first eiemeatof the com-
pound is a Persian or Arabic word. Some of them may "be ixmch older and yet
E ct mere distinguished than many of pure Hindu descent^ from which the p lias
disappeared; but the explanation lies in the natural want of affinity between
the two members of tlie compound, which would prevent them from coalescing^
however long they might be bound together.
To say that the actual process of transition can never be detected is not
strictly in accordance with facts. The-elision Is not restricted to proper names,
tut is applicable to all -words alike; and in Hindi books written and printed at
the present day it is optl. nal -with the writer to use exclusively cither koMlc^
or boil; sukzr or s&zr; Mp cr Ma, or both indifferently. Again, to take a
local illustration: GoharJlian, being a place of high repute, is always so spelt
by vrell-informcd people, but in vulgar writing it is contracted to Gordhan,
and It is almost exceptional to come across a man whose name Is Gubardhan
Das, who does not acquiesce In the eorniptLn.
E"exi to pnr, tlie local aix of niwt <if?ncral signification and tlie one
which we should therefore expect to find occupying thu second place In popular
* A case in point is afforded by ray own name, which is a corruption of the French ro$
ml is from the same root as the Sanskrit guru {in the aomiaafciYe case 6'arm) It has couic down
to me with the spelling ramtered for more thaa 350 years; but the oiet which vas originally
prcnc-QEced as in the word "growth/ or xather as the an in group* baa gradually acquired the
harsher soa::d whicli mors conuaonly aitaciies to the diphthong, as in * brown.* In U&huxm,
eirioiisly enoughy i was alirsya known by the Hindus as * Guia Sibils/ and o got back to nay
original name.